Top local sports stories of 2022

MORRISBURG – Championship winners, national competitions and playoff successes all round out the highlights of the 2022 year in sport.

The Morrisburg Jr. Lions had their highest regular season finish in February 2022, finishing seventh overall in the National Capital Junior Hockey League. The team earned a spot in the league’s playoffs and squared off against river rivals the South Grenville Rangers. The Lions overcame a game one loss to take a 2-1 lead in the five-game first round series. South Grenville moved on to the second round, but the effects of the playoff successes were felt in South Dundas with standing room only crowds – unseen since the team’s Jr. B successes years ago. Morrisburg Lions forward Noelan Spink was named “Most Improved” by the league at its annual awards.

North Dundas curling team Team Acres won the provincial U18 Curling Championship and represented Ontario at the Curling Canada U18 National Women’s Championship in early May.

Skipped by Emma Acres, the team included Ava Acres, Liana Flanagan, Mya Sharpe, and Aila Thompson. The team finished tied for 10th in the national competition, narrowly missing the playoff round.

Iroquois hockey player Roarke “Rory” Gilmour was drafted by the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL draft.

Sports activities started 2022 on hiatus due to provincial COVID-19 related public health measures. When sports were allowed to resume February 5, minor hockey continued its regular season, cutting into the time needed for playoffs. The Upper Canada Minor Hockey League adopted a double elimination bracket format for the season for league playoffs.

The South Dundas Lions had eight teams competing in the U11 level or higher playoffs. The Lions won the league championships at the U11B-House, U13B-House, and U13C-House levels.

A new basketball program started by Derrick Casselman in Iroquois attracted 85 youth in its first weekend of operation early April. That grew throughout the spring with the program continuing next year.

South Dundas Soccer kicked off its regular summer season with over 400 players in 2022. The soccer club added a 175-player strong fall league and began a winter indoor soccer program in November. South Dundas United played a series of friendly soccer matches against area clubs with teams at the U11, U14, and U18 levels.

The Williamsburg Sr. Pioneers won the Spring Interlock Championship in June.

The Seaway Surge hosted two provincial championship tournaments and its annual Shoot-Out tournament, marking the first season of its new JaysCare sponsored ball diamond in Morrisburg. The club’s 16U team advanced to the provincial finals.

High school sports resumed after March Break due to pandemic restrictions. Seaway District High School co-hosted the SD&G Cross Country races in October.

The Morrisburg Lions began the 2022-23 season with several new local signings including Curran Gilmour and Rylan Iwachniuk. Dean Lapier was named captain. The team made a coaching change in November, exiting the bench were Lance Hodgson and Jeff Hyndman. Current General Manager Cody Casselman was named the new head coach, with Steve Iwachniuk and Jamie Smith joining the management team. The Lions ended 2022 in seventh place in the NCJHL.

Minor hockey resumed a regular season after two years of pandemic restrictions. South Dundas Lions teams close out the 2022 calendar year in the following positions in their league 2022-23 standings: U11B-Rep – 11th; U11B-House – 10th; U11C-House – 7th; U13B-Rep – 1st; U13B-House – 1st; U13C-House – 1st; North Dundas Demons U15B-Rep (includes Lions players) – 1st; U15B-House – 7th; and U18B-Rep – 3rd.

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